I don't know how these things happen. One minute someone was saying everyone who wants to be president of the University Heights Association board step forward... and everyone else stepped back.
And there I was.
Let me tell you a little bit about the University Heights Association and how I got involved. From the website:
The University Heights Association (UHA) is a volunteer neighborhood organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The UHA is made up of people living, owning property, and working in the area bounded by Central Avenue on the North, Yale Blvd on the West, Garfield Avenue on the South, and Girard Blvd on the East. LEARN MORE-->
Two years ago when I received a notice of the annual meeting I decided to check it out, learn about this neighborhood I had moved to. I figured it would be a good place to complain about things like traffic and lack of respect for pedestrians. I thought I'd meet some of my neighbors. And I was right. And then I was asked to put my "money" where my mouth was, and join the board (there is no charge to join the board, just a willingness to come to meetings and share your thoughts). I was happy to do so because I thought it would be a good way to be part of the solution; I wanted to participate in the change, not just complain.
And now I find myself president. Fortunately I have a great group of people on the board, several who have lived in and participated in the neighborhood for many many years.
One of my personal initiatives as president is to involve more neighbors. I realize this is a challenge because our neighborhood is quite transient, but even if you're only living here for a couple of years, participating is a great way to get to know fellow neighbors. Participating is also a great way to learn about how the city government works. Currently we are only a nine- member board; our resources are limited. Between us we can only attend, and represent the neighborhood at, so many city meetings for things like crime and safety, or the Lead/Coal task force. You don't need to be on the board to participate!
As president this year I will try to regularly update folks here on DCF. I'll also post meeting information: we meet the 2nd Thursdays of the month at 7pm. At each meeting we have an open forum for items that didn't make the agenda and for visitors to introduce themselves and/or bring up concerns or questions they have about the neighborhood goings-on.
Our next meeting is 7p.m. Thursday, February 9 at 120 Vassar SE. Please let me know if you want to attend-- we have been meeting in the smaller conference room, but when we have a larger group we move to a larger room.
Aside from the regular business on the agenda we will be looking at a proposal from a potential buyer of the 202 Silver Cornell Dr. SE nee Gilchrist property. One of the duties of the neighborhood associations is to make recommendations regarding zoning to the city, and especially represent the neighborhood in zoning decisions.
We also update our website at http://www.uhanm.org/ where you can sign up for our electronic mailing list.
ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE:
The Council District 3 position on the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund Committee is currently vacant. Information about this committee is available at
The Urban Enhancement Trust Fund (UETF) is a public endowment created by the Albuquerque City Council in 1983 to fund both capital and cultural projects. In 2004, the City Council amended the ordinance to provide that all funds available from the endowment should be directed to cultural projects. The Citizens' Committee participates in the decision making for awarding of grants.
Find out more: http://www.cabq.gov/urban-enhancement-trust-fund
District 3 residents who are interested in serving on this committee are asked to provide a resume and brief letter of introduction/interest for Councilor Benton's consideration by Friday, February 17, 2012.
It seems districts 1, 6, 8 and 9 also vacancies. If you live in one of those districts and you're interested in serving on this board, contact your City Council member's office. If you're not sure which district you live in, you can use the interactive map at:
This is a great opportunity to have a say in the kinds of cultural activities funded by our tax dollars...